According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 14% of people between the ages of 45 and 64 have a hearing loss. There have been a few times recently that I've had trouble hearing what people are saying, so I wondered if I might have a problem. Today I had a hearing test done at St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf to find out. The Institute is mainly known for their children's programs, but when I read a couple of weeks ago in the church bulletin that they were offering free adult screenings I called and made an appointment.
Although I've never been to the campus, it was easy to find. When I signed in at the front desk, the receptionist gave me a visitor pass and directed me down a ramp to the Audiology department. Once there, I only had to wait a few minutes to be escorted back to a room. The audiologist was friendly and put me at ease. She asked if I was having any problems hearing, then looked in my ears with an otoscope. Next, she directed me to a booth at the far corner of the room. The booth had floor- to-ceiling walls, a window on one wall, and a chair facing the window.
Once I sat down in the chair, she explained what would happen. I'd be subjected to a series of tones, and I was to indicate I'd heard them by pressing a button. She handed me the button, then took a set of headphones off a hook on the wall and placed them over my ears. The headphones fit very snugly, so she said I'd be more comfortable if I took off my glasses. I did. Once everything was ready, she left the room, closing the door behind her. The lights in the room were dimmed.
Without my glasses everything was blurry, but I could see her take a seat at the window in front of me. A few seconds later the test started. Some of the sounds were loud, and some were softer. They also varied in tone from low to high. I had to really concentrate to hear some of them! The test took about five minutes, and I knew it was over when the lights came back on.
I got my results immediately, and was pleased to find out my hearing is normal. The audiologist told me that I can have the test done once a year. That's comforting to know, and I'll remember it if I think my hearing is getting worse.